Ever wonder how a narrow, 968-foot section of Cavalier Drive could cost taxpayers $2.5 million? Well, take a look. Turns out the City Council voted to give all that money to the developers of the Cavalier based on nothing more than an educated guess. No design plans were formed before the vote, and the city did not seek competitive bids or issue a call for proposals. In fact, the initial estimate apparently fluctuated from $1.5 million to $2.5 million in a matter of days. All of that is included here. Even the city's own engineer said his initial estimate was so padded that "if we add a lane or go with gold leaf pavers, we've got it covered." Gold leaf pavers? Just put it on the taxpayer's tab and write a check to the developer. As you read these pages, take note of the following: 1. When city engineers raised questions about the safety and legality of some aspects of the project, senior city staff edited out negative comments and instructed staff to make sure the the project won approval. City leaders also told public works to "tone down" its criticisms. 2. City staff and the City Attorney said a number of changes sought by the developer would need City Council approval. The city manager's office approved the changes without informing the council. 3. One member of the development team sought a waiver of sidewalk requirements because one model home was so close to the street a sidewalk wouldn't fit. 4. The city agreement called for any money left over from the $2.5 million Cavalier Drive construction to be returned to taxpayers. Instead, the city manager's office approved letting the developer use the leftover money on an adjacent portion of the project. 5. If the city's estimate for the true cost of Cavalier Drive was accurate, how could there have been any money left to transfer, even before the construction began?